My dog is belly-up on the couch, a place she was never allowed to be. She got me up at six to vomit in the elevator and then have diarrhea twice outside then again an hour later. Talk about sleeping in on a weekend.

I haven’t fed her this morning. She’s belly up and that signals trust. A dog I visited weekly for a year in a no-kill shelter over 20 years ago was abused by a law enforcement professional. When they talked about putting her down for her fear of men and children (yes, the kids over the fence used to throw rocks at her) I took her home immediately.

It took her about two weeks to show her tummy. I had individual training, a couple of sessions and practiced walking and socializing a lot. I guess the deputy who owned her used to kick her so she was prone (ha, pun) to suspicion. Within a month I could run towards her and jump over her and she just thought of me as that crazy lady who loves her.

Over the years she even dealt with postal carriers, Navy personnel in uniform, any man in a hat and children of all ages who yelled out her name when we entered the park and came and petted her.

They all got a tree for the park when she died. A few years after she was gone my husband and I adopted a new shelter dog at six weeks of age. She went belly-up (trust) the first day and is so right now sleeping like a baby at age 10. Of course our next dog will be a rescue and I hope to live on a farm someday so wild cats come to visit as well. My husband is deathly allergic to cats but outdoors is OK.

My father-in-law, a rancher, was gored a couple of weeks ago by a horned cow at the sale barn. Tale be told, he already had one leg over the fence to get out but she had a mean streak and got him in the gut. Just shows why animals usually keep their guts below and away from danger. I am blessed to have had two dogs and two cats over the past 30 years who felt comfortable always having their belly up, and rubbed, around me. Trust. Dee


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